Career Profile

I am a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin Madison in the Department of Bacteriology and the Laboratory of Genetics. Before joining the Genetics Training Program at the UW-Madison, I served as a bioinformaticist in the Sánchez lab at The Stowers Institute for Medical Research. During this time, I bioinformatically assisted researchers with their interrogations of development and regeneration in planarians, killifish, ctenophores, and apple snails. The broad similarities in development and regeneration across different taxa captivated me and instilled in me a fascination for evolutionary biology. This drove me to pursue a graduate education in evolutionary biology and join Cameron Currie’s team to study host-parasite interactions and evolution. My research leverages the fungus-growing ant-microbe model symbiosis to study long-term co-evolution between the parasitic symbiont Escovopsis and the defensive adaptations developed by fungus-growing ant hosts to protect their fungus garden from this parasite.


Graduate Student

2017 - Present
University of Wisconsin Madison
  • Sequenced, assembled and annotated 18 genomes of Escovopsis for comparative genomics.
  • Performed field work to obtain increased sampling of Escovopsis


2014 - 2017
The Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Sánchez Lab
  • Collaborated with scientists to analyze and interpret next generation sequencing data.

Line/Lab Assistant

2010 - 2013
Zebrafish International Resource Center
  • Worked to maintain and propagate zebrafish lines for shipping to research labs.



  • Bacteria contribute to plant secondary compound degradation in a generalist herbivore system
  • Francoeur, C. B., Khadempour, L., Moreira-Soto, R.D., Gotting, K., Book, A.J., Pinto-Tomás, A.A., Keefover-Ring, K., and Currie, C.R.
    bioRxiv (2020) 865212. In Review
  • Selection and characterization of mutants defective in DNA methylation in Neurospora crassa
  • Klocko, A.D., Summers, C.A., Glover, M.L., Parrish, R., Storck, W.K., McNaught, K.J., Moss, N., Gotting, K., Stewart, A., Marrison, A.M., Payne, L., Hatakeyama, S., Selker, E.U.
    Genetics (2020). Accepted with Revisions
  • Changes in injury-responsive enhancers shape regenerative capacities in vertebrates.
  • Wang, W., Hu, C., Zeng, A., Gibbon, D., Hu, D., Gotting, K., Granillo Ortega, A., Wang, Y., Robb, S., Schnittker, R., Zhang, S., Alegre, D., Li, H., Ross, E., Zhang, N., Brunet, A., Sánchez Alvarado A.
    Science. Accepted
  • A nuclear hormone receptor and lipid metabolism axis are required for the maintenance and regeneration of reproductive organs.
  • Zhang S., Guo L., Guerrero-Hernández C., Ross E.J., Gotting, K., McKinney S.A., Wang W., Xiang Y., Hawley S.R., and Sánchez Alvarado A.
    bioRxiv (279364).
  • ”Embryonic origin of adult stem cells required for tissue homeostasis and regeneration.”
  • Davies, E.L., Lei K., Seidel C.W., Kroesen A.E., McKinney S.A., Guo L., Robb S.M.C., Ross E.J., Gotting, K., and Sánchez Alvarado A.
    eLife 6 (e21052).
  • ”Egf Signaling Directs Neoblast Repopulation by Regulating Asymmetric Cell Division in Planarians.”
  • Lei, K., Vu H.T., Mohan R.D., McKinney S.A., Seidel C.W., Alexander R., Gotting, K., Workman J.L., and Sánchez Alvarado, A.
    Developmental Cell 38, no. 4 (413-429).
  • ”SmedGD 2.0 The Schmidtea mediterranea genome database.”
  • Robb, S., Gotting, K., Ross, E.J., and Sánchez Alvarado, A.
    genesis 53, no. 8 (535-546).

    Skills & Proficiency